Structural warranty insurance for basement renovations

Since 2011, there has been a distinct rise in planning applications put forward each year for subterranean extensions. The trend has seen wealthy home owners dig downwards in order to create more space for their premises in which to fit saunas, swimming pools, gyms, cinemas and wine cellars within their properties.

Structural warranty insurance for basement renovations

A whopping 800 applications have been made for basement extensions in the Kensington and Chelsea areas alone, many of which have been passed without hesitation from planning officers.

It is not all plain sailing as far as basement extensions are concerned. The process comes with a degree of risk and in many cases, vast expense. Some cases prove to be more expensive than others. Earlier this year, a £3.5million London townhouse owned by Ex Phones4U boss collapsed after caving in whilst developers were part-way through works to create an extensive basement designed to accommodate a cinema, a wine room and gym.

The basement of the Georgian property in West London was in the process of being renovated when it collapsed causing the property to be reduced to rubble. Luckily no-one was injured during the building collapse.

Homeowners considering renovation projects and any form or self-build schemes need to ensure that they have the correct insurances in place to cover themselves to prepare for such an eventuality.

Whether you are building your ‘Dream Home’ or converting an existing building, Build-Zone’s 10 Year Structural Warranty is the best way to protect you against the effect that a major structural defect could have on what is possibly your largest investment.

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Are Self-Build Homes The Answer To London’s Housing Crisis?

Our city halls, like counterparts in other great cities, are grappling with the scale of globalisation and its demands.  They must deliver housing to satisfy the electorate, outsourcing flagship housing projects to developers to deliver results at scale. Are Self-Build Homes The Answer To London's Housing Crisis?

Developers argue that having taken the risk of readying the site, funded quality accommodation, and met regulations; there is limited scope for the affordable housing or community facilities that people crave.

As a result, London, like many cities, is lumbered with a system for controlling development rather than one that enables building. Demoralised planners operate in a quasi-legal environment, avoiding the opportunity to inspire physical building designs. Our councils are ignoring the exciting potential of both big developments and smaller brownfield locations to deliver viable, multi-purpose building sites.

Our leaders need not exercise this ‘command and control’ over housing. They’ve forgotten that housing was always delivered through the smallest units — a single street, terrace or building.  Communities were built this way over generations without a torrent of planning controls.

Local people will build again if essential conditions are put in place — common networks, agreed design approaches and incentives. These factors result in much wider physical uses for new buildings, a greater sense of place and more sustainable community growth and change.

But European cities haven’t forgotten the lesson of smallness: they’re successfully mixing ‘top down’ and ‘ground up’ approaches to urban renewal.

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25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance

25 years success for Sennocke International Insurance marked by expansion and relocation to larger premises

 SBZ

Following the continued success and growth of Sennocke International Insurance Services’ market leading brands; Self-build-Zone, Build-Zone and Build-Zone Survey Services Ltd, the company has invested in larger premises to accommodate their rapidly growing workforce and plans for the future.

As of 26th October, Sennocke International Insurance will be located at new offices in the heart of Sevenoaks.  The move to larger premises coincides with the company’s 25th Anniversary year and will allow each of the brands to continue to progress in line with the booming self-build market.

Managing Director, Paul Kempton, said:

“With our ambitious growth plans on track and the teams from Self-build Zone, Build-Zone and Build Zone Survey Services growing rapidly, we felt that this was perfect timing to invest in larger premises. Since inception, the operating brands under the Sennocke umbrella have gone from strength to strength.”

He went on to say:

“In our 25th Anniversary Year this is a major step forward for us, bringing the teams from our two offices together will combine the talents of our existing and dedicated staff re-affirming our commitment as the leading broker in the Self-build, Custom Build and Developer Markets”.

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Second Quarter NHBC statistics show continued growth for housebuilding sector

On Wednesday 29 July, NHBC announced their Q2 housing registration statistics. These statistics cover 80 per cent plus of the market, making them the leading indicator of activity.

  Second Quarter NHBC statistics show continued growth for housebuilding sector

The main headlines for Q2 were that housebuilding continues to steadily climb; figures were up 12 per cent on Q2 2014 with a total of 41,268 registrations – meaning six consecutive quarters of growth reported by the NHBC. The statistics also showed that, while private registrations continue to dominate the market – a total of 30,462 registrations were recorded in the private, sector, up I I per cent on 2014 – public registrations saw the bigger climb on last year, with I 0,806 registrations, an increase of l3 per cent.

However, the most notable headline was the increase in registered retirement properties. So far in 2015, 2,337 retirement properties have been registered – a figure that beats registrations for the whole of 2014, which totalled at 1,919.

While these figures are positive, McCarthy & Stone’s Group Operations Director Mike Jennings explained why the company believe a lack of retirement properties is something the government needs to address.

He explained:

“As the UK’s leading retirement house builder we are encouraged to see a growing number of retirement property registrations. In the  first six months of 2015 we have registered 1,850 new retirement apartments with the NHBC and we will be investing.€2 billion in land and build over the next four years, which will deliver around 12,000 new retirement properties.”

“However, while we welcome the government work to get the housebuilding sector building again, more has to be done to address the needs of later life buyers. There is a chronic undersupply of specialist retirement housing in the UK. ‘We would like to see a national strategy for retirement housing and stronger government policies to support its provision.” An increasing number of buyers are aged over 55, coinciding with the UK’s growing population.

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Interest rate rises will hit British households hard, say economists

The first rise in Bank Rate could be just months away. How will mortgage rates react, and what should borrowers do?

Interest rate rises will hit British households hard, say economists

Mortgage borrowers have been rattled by fears that their interest rate may rise following indications from the Bank of England that the first increase in the official cost of borrowing is only months away. This is becoming a concern for current property owners and first timers, it is also a concern for self-builders who already have to consider structural warranties on new buildings before their mortgage is issued.

The rate at which lenders can access money to lend is the key to what they charge you. They usually get this money either from savers’ deposits or by borrowing from other banks on the money markets.

For fixed-rate mortgages, which are more popular when the cost of borrowing is about to rise, the key rate that determines what banks pay for their funds is called the “swap” rate. Swap rates react to expectations of future interest rates and inflation.

The other major factor is competition for mortgage business. Lenders have been competing fiercely to attract customers in order to meet their lending targets and this has helped to keep mortgage rates at record lows for much of the year.

It’s slightly different for tracker mortgages, which are less popular at the moment. Here, the key wholesale rate is “Libor”, which is currently a little above Bank Rate.

Barclays has increased the rate on its popular five-year mortgage from 2.39pc to 2.59pc. It also increased the rate on its market-leading 10-year loan from 2.99pc to 3.25pc.

Santander withdrew its popular 2.19pc five-year fix and increased the cost of a range of other deals, including two-year fixes, although only by 0.1 of a percentage point.

But amid these price rises other lenders, such as HSBC and Coventry, cut their rates last week in a bid to attract customers.

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